Five East Central Family, Career and Community Leaders of America chapter members recently traveled to Washington, D.C., for Monumental, the 25th Annual National Service-Learning Conference and the 26th Global Youth Service Day, reports adviser Brenda Osman.
The four-day conference featured keynote speeches from retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx, U.S. Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell and acting Peace Corps director Carrie Hessler-Radelet, along with other youth and adult leaders.
It began with a monumental Capitol Hill Day, where East Central FCCLA members, Laura Kuebel, Lauren Deddens, Sarah Lehman, Elizabeth Hamersly, Kaitlyn Mortimer, Rylie Seaver, and Osman, met with Sen. Dan Coats, Sen. Joe Donnelly and Rep. Luke Messer. The students had an opportunity to share with each of them the community service activities they are leading back home in their community.
The group was also honored by Foxx for being recognized as a Top 10 Project Ignition School and a national leader in promoting teen driver safety. This project has involved many EC FCCLA members in learning about the importance of not texting and driving and also the importance of wearing seat belts. Members have even written and broadcast public service announcements on a local radio station.
While at the conference, the girls led a workshop and exchanged their ideas with the other nine schools recognized as a National Leader School.
The students also toured the Capitol building, took a night tour of Washington, D.C., experienced the cherry blossoms in full bloom, attended the Cherry Blossom Parade and Festival and spent an entire day on the Washington Mall.
Deddens revealed, “This was an awesome opportunity. We got to see our government in action after studying this our senior year. We also were able to share with Sen. Coats, Sen. Donnelly and Rep. Messer issues that are important to us as young adults.”
The National Service-Learning Conference brings together youth and adults from across the country and around the world for four days of learning, inspiration and connection for those who view youth as solutions for stronger communities and schools.